This week is a battle of two winless teams. Both the Chiefs and Vikings are desperate. Neither wants to start 0-4, well neither of them wanted to start 0-3 either. This is in many ways a make or break game for both head coaches. As the losses continue to pile up so does the scrutiny of Todd Haley and Leslie Frazier. Both are young coaches, both still need to prove themselves, and both could be out of a job if their teams don’t step it up.
The Chiefs began to turn it around slightly last week. They only turned the ball over once, which has been a huge reason for their lack of success, but were still not able to finish out the game on a positive note.
Although the Vikings have the same record they have had a completely different season. They’ve had a double-digit halftime lead in all three games and are outscoring their opponents 54-7 in the first half, but for some reason they have collapsed every week. They cannot close out a game and it is a huge problem. They’re being outscored 64-6 in the second half and the players are getting fed up. Of course Adrian Peterson isn’t going to bash his team, but you can tell he’s frustrated. He is arguably the best running back in the league and only has 66 second-half yards due to lack of carries. With a 20-0 lead against the Lions this past week he only carried the ball five times in the second half. Frazier knows the kind of talent that Peterson possesses and it’s kind of ridiculous that he is not getting a bigger workload. I see the Vikings running the ball a ton this week, especially against the Chiefs’ defense which is ranked twenty-eighth against the run.
Now let’s talk about the Chiefs’ offense. At the beginning of the season they thought they had a sure fire quarterback who was supposed to be the quarterback of the future and lead them back to the playoffs. Well these past three games have shown us that Matt Cassel is clearly not ready to carry this offense. He’s thrown for a total of 428 yards. Rookie phenom Cam Newton threw for more yards in one single game and almost did it twice. I know Cassel is Haley’s guy and they do believe in him, but one or two more awful performances and it might be time to call on rookie Ricky Stanzi. This kid can be good. He showed he has an arm while playing at Iowa and the team clearly saw enough potential talent to use a draft pick on him.
It’s going to be an interesting game this week at Arrowhead. Both teams are fighting for their lives, dignity, and pride. Either way the first quarter of the 2011 NFL season is one to forget for both teams, but if the Chiefs are able to pull this one out they could gain some much needed momentum going into the second quarter.
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Written by Matt Brody